Imagens das páginas





But Time, which brings all beings to their To the kind reader of our sober clime, level,

This way of writing will appear exotic; And sharp Adversity, will teach at Pulci was sire of the half-serious rhyme, last

Who sang when chivalry was more Man, and—as we would hope-perhaps Quixotic, the devil,

And revelled in the fancies of the time, 45 That neither of their intellects are vast: True knights, chaste dames, huge giants, While youth's hot wishes in our red veins kings despotic; revel,

But all these, save the last, being obsolete, We know not this—the blood flows on I chose a modern subject as more meet.

too fast; But as the torrent widens towards the How I have treated it, I do not know; ocean,


Perhaps no better than they have We ponder deeply on each past emotion. treated me

Who have imputed such designs as show As boy, I thought myself a clever fel- Not what they saw, but what they

wished to see: And wished that others held the same But if it gives them pleasure, be it so; opinion;

This is a liberal age, and thoughts are They took it up when my days grew more free: mellow,

Meantime Apollo plucks me by the ear, 55 And other minds acknowledged my And tells me to resume my story here. dominion:

20 Now my sere fancy “falls into the yellow Young Juan and his lady-love were left Leaf,” and Imagination droops her To their own hearts' most sweet society; pinion,

Even Time the pitiless in sorrow cleft And the sad truth which hovers o'er my With his rude scythe such gentle bosoms; desk


бо Turns what was once romantic to bur- Sighed to behold them of their hours bereft, lesque.

Though foe to love; and yet they could

not be And if I laugh at any mortal thing, Meant to grow old, but die in happy spring, 'T is that I may not weep; and if I Before one charm or hope had taken wing.

weep, 'T is that our nature cannot always bring Their faces were not made for wrinkles, Itself to apathy, for we must steep


65 Our hearts first in the depth of Lethe's Pure blood to stagnate, their great spring,

hearts to fail; Ere what we least wish to behold will The blank gray was not made to blast sleep:

their hair, Thetis baptized her mortal son in Styx; But like the climes that know nor snow A mortal mother would on Lethe fix.

They were all summer: lightning might Some have accused me of a strange design assail Against the creed and morals of the And shiver them to ashes, but to trail 70 land,

A long and snake-like life of dull decay And trace it in this poem every line: Was not for them they had too little clay.

I don't pretend that I quite understand My own meaning when I would be very They were alone once more; for them to be fine;

Thus was another Eden; they were But the fact is, that I have nothing never planned

Weary, unless when separate: the tree Unless it were to be a moment merry,

Cut from its forest root of years—the A novel word in my vocabulary.





nor hail






said of yore,


Dammed from its fountain the child Mixed in each other's arms, and heart in from the knee

heart, And breast maternal weaned at once for Why did they not then die?—they had ever, —

lived too long Would wither less than these two torn Should an hour come to bid them breathe apart;

apart; Alas! there is no instinct like the heart - 80 Years could but bring them cruel things

or wrong; The heart—which may be broken: happy The world was not for them, nor the world's they!

art Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile

For beings passionate as Sappho's song; mould,

Love was born with them, in them, so The precious porcelain of human clay,


215 Break with the first fall: they can ne'er

It was their very spirit, not a sense. behold The long year linked with heavy day on day,


They should have lived together deep in And all which must be borne, and never

woods, told;

Unseen as sings the nightingale; they While life's strange principle will often lie

Unfit to mix in these thick solitudes Deepest in those who long the most to die.

Çalled social, haunts of hate, and vice,

and care: “Whom the gods love die young,” was How lovely every free-born creature

broods! And many deaths do they escape by The sweetest songbirds nestle in a pair; this:

The eagle soars alone; the gull and crow The death of friends, and that which Flock o'er their carrion, just like men slays even more

below. The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is,

Now pillowed cheek to cheek, in loving Except mere breath; and since the silent


225 shore

Haidée and Juan their siesta took, Awaits at last even those who longest A gentle slumber, but it was not deep, miss

For ever and anon a something shook The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early Juan, and shuddering o'er his frame would grave


creep; Which men weep over may be meant And Haidée's sweet lips murmured like a to save.



A wordless music, and her face so fair They gazed upon the sunset; 'tis an hour Stirred with her dream, as rose-leaves with Dear unto all, but dearest to their eyes,

the air; For it had made them what they were: the power

155 Or as the stirring of a deep clear stream Of love had first o'erwhelmed them from Within an Alpine hollow, when the wind such skies,

Walks o'er it, was she shaken by the When happiness had been their only dower, dream,

235 And twilight saw them linked in pas- The mystical usurper of the mindsion's ties;

O'erpowering us to be whate'er may seem Charmed with each other, all things Good to the soul which we no more can charmed that brought

bind; The past still welcome as the present Strange state of being! (for 'tis still to be) thought.

Senseless to feel, and with sealed eyes to see.



She dreamed of being alone on the sea- Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the shore,

beat Chained to a rock; she knew not how, Of his quenched heart; and the seabut stir

dirges low

270 She could not from the spot, and the Rang in her sad ears like a mermaid's loud roar

song, Grew, and each wave rose roughly, And that brief dream appeared a life too threatening her;

long. And o'er her upper lip they seemed to pour,

245 And gazing on the dead, she thought his Until she sobbed for breath, and soon face they were

Faded, or altered into something newFoaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and Like to her father's features, till each high


275 Each broke to drown her, yet she could not More like and like to Lambro's aspect die.


With all his keen worn look and Grecian Anon-she was released; and then she grace; strayed

And starting, she awoke, and what to O'er the sharp shingles with her bleed- view? ing feet,


O Powers of Heaven! what dark eye meets And stumbled almost every step she made; she there? And something rolled before her in a 'Tis—'tis her father's-fixed upon the sheet,


280 Which she must still pursue howe'er afraid; 'Twas white and indistinct, nor stopped Then shrieking, she arose, and shrieking to meet

fell, Her glance nor grasp, for still she gazed, With joy and sorrow, hope and fear, to and grasped,

255 And ran, but it escaped her as she clasped. Him whom she deemed a habitant where

dwell The dream changed in a cave she stood, The ocean-buried, risen from death, to its walls

be Were hung with marble icicles, the work Perchance the death of one she loved too Of ages on its water-fretted halls,


285 Where waves might wash, and seals Dear as her father had been to Haidée, might breed and lurk;

260 It was a moment of that awful kindHer hair was dripping, and the very I have seen such—but must not call to balls

mind. Of her black eyes seemed turned to tears, and mirk

Up Juan sprang to Haidée's bitter shriek, The sharp rocks looked below each drop And caught her falling, and from off they caught,

the wall Which froze to marble as it fell-she Snatched down his sabre, in hot haste to thought.


Vengeance on him who was the cause of And wet, and cold, and lifeless, at her all. feet,

265 Then Lambro, who till now forbore to Pale as the foam that frothed on his speak, dead brow,

Smiled scornfully, and said, “Within Which she essayed in vain to clear (how sweet

A thousand scimitars await the word; 295 Were once her cares, how idle seemed Put up, young man, put up your silly they now!)




my call,

And Haidée clung around him; “Juan, Lambro presented, and one instant more 'tis

Had stopped this canto, and Don Juan's 'Tis Lambro-'tis my father! Kneel breath,

330 with me

When Haidée threw herself her boy beHe will forgive us-yes-it must be- fore; yes.

Stern as her sire, “On me," she cried, Oh dearest father, in this agony 300

"let death Of pleasure and of pain—even while I kiss Descend—the fault is mine; this fatal Thy garment's hem with transport, can

shore it be

He found—but sought not. I have That doubt should mingle with my filial pledged my faith; joy?

I love him-I will die with him: I knew 335 Deal with me as thou wilt, but spare this Your nature's firmness—know your daughboy.”

ter's too."

High and inscrutable the old man stood, 305 A minute past, and she had been all Calm in his voice, and calm within his tears, eye —

And tenderness, and infancy; but now Not always signs with him of calmest She stood as one who championed human mood:

fears He looked upon her, but gave no reply; Pale, statue-like, and stern, she wooed the Then turned to Juan, in whose cheek the blow;

340 blood

And tall beyond her sex, and their comOft came and went, as there resolved to

peers, die


She drew up to her height, as if to show In arms, at least, he stood in act to spring A fairer mark; and with a fixed eye scanned On the first foe whom Lambro's call might Her father's face—but never stopped his bring.



“Young man, your sword!” So Lambro He gazed on her, and she on him; 'twas once more said;


345 Juan replied, “Not while this arm is How like they looked! the expression free!”

was the same, The old man's cheek grew pale, but not Serenely savage, with a little change with dread,

315 In the large dark eye's mutual-darted And drawing from his belt a pistol, he flame; Replied, “Your blood be then on your own For she, too, was as one who could avenge, head;”

If cause should be a lioness, though Then looked close at the flint, as if to tame.


Her father's blood before her father's face 'Twas fresh—for he had lately used the Boiled up, and proved her truly of his race.

lockAnd next proceeded quietly to cock. 320 I said they were alike, their features and

Their stature differing but in sex and It has a strange, quick jar upon the


years; That cocking of a pistol, when you know Even to the delicacy of their hand

355 A moment more will bring the sight to There was resemblance, such as true

bear Upon your person, twelve yards off, or And now to see them, thus divided, stand

In fixed ferocity, when joyous tears A gentlemanly distance, not too near, 325 And sweet sensations should have wel

If you have got a former friend for foe; comed both, But after being fired at once or twice, Show what the passions are in their full The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice. growth.


blood wears;


The father paused a moment, then with- And then they bound him where he fell, drew

and bore His weapon, and replaced it; but stood Juan from the apartment: with a sign, still,

Old Lambro bade them take him to the And looking on her, as to look her through, shore,

395 “Not 1,” he said, “have sought this Where lay some ships which were to sail stranger's ill;

at nine. Not I have made this desolation; few 365 They laid him in a boat, and plied the oar Would bear such outrage, and forbear to Until they reached some galliots, placed kill;

in line; But I must do my duty-how thou hast On board of one of these, and under Done thine, the present vouches for the hatches, past.

They stowed him, with strict orders to the watches.

400 “Let him disarm; or, by my father's head, His own shall roll before you like a The world is full of strange vicissitudes, ball!”


And here was one exceedingly unpleasHe raised his whistle, as the word he ant: said,

A gentleman so rich in the world's goods, And blew; another answered to the call, Handsome and young, enjoying all the And, rushing in disorderly, though led, present, And armed from boot to turban, one Just at the very time when he least broods and all,

On such a thing, is suddenly to sea Some twenty of his train came, rank on sent,

406 rank;


Wounded and chained, so that he cannot He gave the word—“Arrest or slay the

move, Frank!”

And all because a lady fell in love.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »